Vandroid #1 Preview

Ah, the ’80s. The best music. The bets cartoons. The best fashion. Um..maybe not that last one, but it was a magical time, and on February 26 we can return.

Vandroid is a new 5 issue mini-series from Dark Horse, with the unique premise that it’s based on a lots film from the 1980s. The website is worth checking out too, with more preview pages, and a great, oh-so-80s score sample. It’s obvious this is a nostalgic, radical labour of love for the creators.

When Palm Springs Entertainment studios burned to the ground in 1984, the most definitive motion picture of a generation was lost before its time. Thirty years later, the extraordinary talents of Tommy Lee Edwards, Noah Smith, and Dan McDaid unite to resurrect this lost epic.

* Complete the Vandroid experience with the remastered soundtrack from Ed Banger Records and the unearthed 1984 movie trailer at Vandroid.com!

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Tomb Raider #1 Preview

I’m excited to read this new ongoing series from Dark Horse when it launches on February 26. The art by Nicolas Daniel Selma looks superb, and with writer Gail Simone on board (Batgirl, Birds of Prey), this official continuation of the recent Raider reboot game is sure to please. That game, by the way, is amazing. Bloody, to be sure, but amazing.

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Terminator: Enemy of my Enemy #1 Preview

Releasing from Dark Horse Comics on February 19 is the first issue of a new Terminator mini-series, called Enemy of my Enemy. It’s written by Dan Jolley (Bloodhound, Prototype 2) with art by Jamal Igle (Supergirl). Here’s the official description.

In 1984, Kyle Reese protected Sarah Connor from a cyborg that would stop at nothing to terminate her. In 1985, Skynet targets a scientist whose discoveries threaten its future, but this time there is no resistance fighter sent back to face it! With only enemies around her, what chance does Elise Fong stand against the perfect killing machine?

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Furious #1 Review

Furious #1 CoverBryan J.L. Glass and Victor Santos’ last team-up was on Mice Templar from Image Comics. This time, they give us something completely different. Whereas Templar is epic and far reaching, Furious from Dark Horse is more contained, but no less spectacular.

Yes, the last few years have seen almost as many superhero parodies/deconstructions and re-imaginings as straightforward superhero tales themselves, but brightly coloured beings with amazing powers will always be an intriguing prism through which to examine the best and worst of humanity. Fame does the same, and when those two things are combined, you get Furious. This premiere issue is smart and thrilling, and as anyone who’s read the preview can attest, it looks great too.

The titular character describes fame as a spoiled brat which always screams for more. Two months ago she debuted, calling herself The Beacon, but a loss of cool on camera meant the media gave her a new unwanted name – Furious.

This is a mature comic, with mature language, and an intensity and desperation that floods the pages. Furious is a wonderfully nuanced character. Glass employs a delicate touch here, making certain that she is frightened and uncertain, but with noble intentions. She only wants to do good with the abilities she’s been given but she soon realizes that the old saying is true. No good deed does indeed go unpunished.

There’s more at work here than just another jaded look at “superheroes in the real world.” Glass has something interesting to say about what’s expected about those rare, skilled individuals who we so easily put on a pedestal. What does that do to the individual? What does that do to those of us expecting them to be miraculously better than us? Public meltdowns are increasingly common of course, and that just adds to the authentic and relevant approach Furious is aiming for.

Santos’ art is angular and dynamic as always and his colour choices are meaningful – well-lit and exciting when Furious is flying after a distraught mother kidnapping her child, and full of shadow during scenes of Furious’ anger and doubt.

Eagle-eyed readers will see some interesting visuals, such as the nod to Santos’ recent Polar OGN, and Glass also nods to some of his fellow talented creators in a back-up collage page showing some in-world reactions to Furious’ debut. There’s also a familiar figure in one scene that made me do a double-take and just reminded me that Glass and Santos are building an intriguing story with more layers than a lasagne.

Furious is a young woman with some standard superpowers (speed, strength, flight) and although her origin isn’t explored here, it’s not really needed. Furious brings her hurt past with her to her present decision making, and that’s make for an interesting protagonist. Underneath the bright costume and the desire to just do good, is a fragile woman who just wants acceptance, and who doesn’t want to be judged by a bad deed or two.

The remaining three issues are sure to be as dazzling and provocative as this debut. It’s obvious that the story is perched on a rickety rollercoaster track. It will all lead somewhere dangerous and exciting.

Furious #1 will be released from Dark Horse Comics on January 29 and you can even participate in a unique press conference on Twitter with the star of the comic!

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X Volume One Review

X Big BadDark Horse’s focus on bringing a few more superheroes in to their line as of late makes sense. They are not normally associated with brightly clad cape wearers, but apart from Marvel and DC Comics no publisher is really.

X is a character who debuted in the pages of Dark Horse Presents, and his solo series ran from 1994 until 1996. That was the time I was becoming fully engorged on comics, and I do recall X at the time, although I never picked up any of the character’s tales. It was also a good time for the publisher, with the success of Mask, Barb Wire and Sin City getting attention, and they’ve only eclipsed that success in the years since.

Of course, comics readers are a nostalgic bunch, so bringing back X makes sense, plus there’s already some familiarity with the hard core character.

This Trade Paperback, entitled Big Bad, collects the relaunch which began in April 2013, in particular issues #0-4, plus a few sketchbook pages of character designs. Written by Duane Swierczynski (Cable and X-Force, Punisher, for Marvel), with art by Eric Nguyen (Batman: Arkham Unhinged, based on the Arkham series of videogames), this is a good (re) introduction to X and the nasty city he inhabits.

Continue reading

Lobster Johnson: Get The Lobster #1 Preview

Being released from Dark Horse Comics on February 5 is the first issue of another mini-series focused on popular pulp hero Lobster Johnson. He has a lot of mini-series, that guy, but the quality always seems to match the quantity.

Get The Lobster is written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola with John Arcudi, with ever gorgeous art by Tonci Zonjic.

A Manhattan sporting event goes terribly wrong as the ref is killed in front of a live audience by two crazed—and seemingly bulletproof—wrestlers. Who is behind this new reign of terror?

“The necessary thrills to justify every cent spent on this comic.”—Comic Book Resources

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Furious #1 Preview

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics, below is a generous preview of Furious, the new mini-series from writer Bryan J.L. Glass (Adventures of Superman) and artist Victor Santos (Polar: Came from the Cold). The pair have collaborated previously on the excellent Mice Templar. Furious #1 is released on January 29.

Staring into a fractured mirror of her life, the world’s first superhero, Furious, seeks to atone for her past sins by doling out rage-fueled justice! But the spotlight of our celebrity-obsessed media threatens to undo her noblest efforts and expose her true identity before she can achieve redemption.

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